Understrength Oakham have a day to forget

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Oakham Cricket Club paid the price for a threadbare squad with defeats for the first and second team in the Leicestershire and Rutland League on Saturday and Sunday.

Like many teams, Oakham bank on a corps of students returning from university and unavailabilities left the sides exposed at the weekend.

Saturday’s 1st XI were heavily beaten by division three leaders Newton Linford 2nd XI on a bobbly and unpredictable wicket.

Despite containing their hosts early on, Oakham were unable to restrict the opposition’s middle order who took the score to 221-7 in 45 overs. In reply Oakham were never in the hunt and were dismissed for 81.

Skipper Matt Osman will be looking for a better performance in Saturday’s home game against Stoughton & Thurnby 2nd XI.

Oakham’s 2nd XI were also up against a table-topping side, Ratby 2nd XI in division 7.

Ratby won the toss and had no hesitation in putting Oakham in on a green and damp wicket. Despite this, captain Graham Cooper and fellow opener Mazz Edge (21) shared an opening partnership of 96 before Edge was dismissed. Cooper followed shortly for a well made 67.

However, with the exception of Mark Worthington (58) and some late, stylish play from youngster Ashley Chamberlain, the other Oakham batsmen couldn’t provide the acceleration needed and the score finished on 202-6 – a below par total on the high-scoring Lime Kilns ground.

Ratby’s in-form openers quickly made inroads into this total, taking advantage of some badly directed bowling to score nearly 80 runs inside 10 overs.

The Oakham bowlers then managed to exert some sort of control but Cockrill with 94no guided Ratby to their target in only 37 overs.

Oakham’s Sunday 1st XI again lost the toss in the Rutland League against Whittlesey and were asked to bat first.

Oakham slipped to 17-5 before Bhavin Shukla (81)and Darran Jones (41) steadied the innings in which five batsmen failed to trouble the scorers as Oakham closed on 149 in their 45 overs.

This proved to be insufficient despite fine bowling from Nick Davies (2-38) and Rory Brown (3-27) and Whittlesey overhauled the Oakham total for the loss of six wickets.

Oakham fielded a very young and inexperienced 2nd XI at Loddington and Mawsley in division six and with only one senior player, skipper Neil Southern, they expected to find it tough.

So it proved with Loddington scoring a massive 259-5 in their 45 overs (Lachlan Inglis 143no). Oakham struggled in reply with only a ninth wicket partnership from youngsters Ben Southern and Harvey Stafford providing any resistance in a total of 75 – leaving Loddington winners by 184 runs.